How Being an ESOP Makes us Better
When it comes to furniture providers, there are a lot of options out there. From traditional furniture retailers to start-up furniture subscription providers, shoppers find themselves surrounded by furniture companies. With the internet at your fingertips, there are even more options than ever before.
So how do you choose just one?
Well one difference to look for is whether the furniture provider you’re considering is an employee-owned company or not. Employee-owned companies offer numerous benefits to clients and employees alike. At Furniture Options, after over 25 35 years in the furniture industry, we became an ESOP in 2014, becoming one of just a handful of 100% employee-owned companies in the Midwest. But just what is an ESOP? What does it mean to be employee-owned? And what does us being an ESOP do for you?
We’ll explore what an ESOP is and how working with one can make all the difference in your furniture provider. Let’s get started!
What is an ESOP?
ESOP stands for Employee Stock Ownership Plan. When you’re working with a furniture provider that is an ESOP, that means they utilize this type of plan for their business.
In an ESOP, a company provides shares in the business to its employees that meet certain requirements. Generally, all full-time employees over the age of 21 are given a percentage of these shares. Any employee who has some of the company’s stock is considered an Employee Owner and a company that has all of its shares in the trust or employees’ accounts is considered 100% employee-owned.
What Subscribing to an Employee-Owned Company Means for You
Since we’ve Furniture Options become an employee-owned company, we’ve found some incredible benefits that can really make a difference for our customers. Here’s some of the ways working with an ESOP works for you!
- Employee-owned companies emphasize training and expertise, concern and care for the bottom line and providing you the best product for a win-win scenario.
At Furniture Options, we believe this throughout every fiber of our company. Angie McDonald, our Human Resources leader and President of our company’s ESOP Communication Committee tells us that “When you are doing business with an employee owner, chances are you are going to work with someone who cares about the success of the company. This means they are going to take better care of the customers, and have a better knowledge of the product or service than someone who just comes to work to collect a paycheck.”
- Employee owners tend to offer better customer service because they are invested in the success of the company – which means they are all about your satisfaction and delivering the best service possible.
“Customers who choose to work with an employee-owned organization will likely notice elevated service at every touchpoint from reception to the C-Suite, a tangible result of working with stakeholders who are motivated by customer success.” - Cindy Schneider from the Dayton Business Journal
That means no matter who you are or what your position is, when you’re working with an employee owner, you’re going to be the most important person to that representative.
- Employee owners have a better sense of investment in the company because they are literally invested. There is usually more of a team/family atmosphere with everyone working together for the same end goals.
Everything is transparent – from the CEO to the delivery drivers, all the numbers are available. This is not a direct client benefit, but if the employee owners all have access to the same info, it fosters the team spirit that’s important to delivering a superior product as well as innovation from every level of the company.
- Employee-owned companies produce more creative solutions and have an entrepreneurial spirit. We’re empowered to go above and beyond to ensure customer success with our furnishings.
- employee-owned companies are more reliable and have staying power to be here for you when you need us even through tough times when other companies may not be able to meet your needs.
According to the Harvard Business Review, employee-owned companies foster “inclusive workplaces that, again, often perform better, especially during recessions or slowdowns.” By focusing on the employee owners and the customers, employee-owned companies are able to excel where other companies fail, including in reaching lofty standards of clients.
- Employee-owned companies tend to have higher retention rates and more familiarity with the company’s products and services – allowing you, the client, more confidence and overall satisfaction when doing business with the employee-owned company.
Extended employee-owner tenure also assures you will have a long-term relationship with your primary points of contact and not being moved from one rep to another.
How Can We Furnish Your Home Today?
As an ESOP, we’ve enjoyed seeing thousands of clients taking advantage of the benefits that come with renting from our dedicated employee owners. From your first visit to our website, to your pick-up date and beyond, you know a vested owner is working diligently to make your subscription process as easy as possible.
You also know, should you encounter an issue during your rental, a local team of employee owners in each of our hometowns ready to make it right. That’s the difference you get when working with an employee-owned company.
So that just leaves one more question to be answered… How can we furnish your home today?